I’ve got Cubase 7.5 up and running and love it. Its so stable. I only recently found out about the CMC Modules and thought I’d give the CMC-TP a try. Its definitely worth the money (especially if you are using a wireless Apple Keyboard as they don’t have a number pad) and its already made me want to buy the CMC-CH, CMC-QC, CMC-PD, and CMC-AI.
I’m just not sure about buying the CMC-FD. Especially 4 of them! The touch pad on the TP is quite cool and I imagine they are the same build quality as the FD but is anyone using them for mixing? Are they sensitive enough?
If Steinberg made the CMC-FD with 4 x Real motorised faders (expandable to 16) and not forgetting a physical pan pot (above the fader) they would already have my cash.
I have four FD controllers in my rig but I must say I do not use them very frequently because I cannot easily associate a fader with a track. By the time I actually identify the track I’m dealing with its easier to use the mouse or the CH controller to make fader adjustments rather than the corresponding FD fader. Once is a while I will use the FD to, say, move a set of background vocal tracks but that’s about it. I can live without the physical flying faders but what the FD really needs is some sort of TFT for track identification.
I use 4x FD units and all of the other CMC modules. It takes some getting used to the FD’s, especially if you come from a traditional mixer background, but once you get the grips, they’re even more efficient than old-school faders (try max volume and then 0 in a fraction of a second two times in a row: impossible with an analog fader…) However, I have recently acquired an Akai Max 49, and I must say that its ribbon faders are even better than the FD’s (wider, smoother, more separation between ribbons. And yes, of course, you can use the FD’s and the Akai at the same time and work with 24 faders, thus overcoming Steinberg’s limitation of 16 ribbons max.) If you’re in the market for a keyboard controller, I can’t speak highly enough of the Max 49, and not just because of the excellent ribbon faders (which can be used in Mackie emulation but also to control plugin parameters), but also because it’s a very rugged high-quality instrument that comes with great drum pads (highly-responsive, true MPC-style, way better than those of the MPK series) and excellent semi-weighted action with very effective after-touch.
I received the cmc six pack as a gift (lucky boy) and I took a chance on getting another three FD controllers. I’m still getting to grips with using them but first impressions are positive, there’s quite a different feel to ‘riding’ the FD faders compared to motorised lumps between your fingers, but I think I will get used to it. I love the compact size: I’ve got 9 cmc controllers in a line. I’m going to make a little wooden holder/stand for the units, both to make them more portable but also to have a little scribble strip underneath each channel, to help with identification.
Remember to use a externally powered USB-hub. I got into trouble recently having all 6 CMC Controllers and adding an additional FD Controller. Not all CMC Controllers were visible and useable in Cubase. At first I thought it had to do with not being able to use more than 6 CMC Controllers, but then I found out that it could be the lack of current driving the Controllers. A 7 slot externally powered USB-hub solved my problems. I am now running 7 cmc devices without a problem.
The CMC-CH has a single fader and is a very useful module when working on individual tracks, so perhaps get this next before getting the FDs to see if you like using this kind of fader.
For those having track association problems, I use 16 CMC faders (4 units) and find that aligning them with a monitor displaying Mixer one, set up to show 16 channels (plus the CR in my case) with an appropriate width helps tremendously with orientation problems - it’s much like a large console with faders at the front and the meters at the rear.
I just wish there was an option to have the mixer follow the HW controlled group - it’s obvious that the software knows which faders are controlled because of the white line beneath, plus it says in the CMC manual that Cubase retains this information, so all we need is an appropriate visiblity agent or Channel type selection (as it would have to be dynamic - responding to channel and bank shifts).
Yep, the CMC-Ch shall be my next buy. It looks amazingly useful. Thank you BriHar. Quick question though.
When I use qwerty keyboard shortcuts (over time the CMCs will replace most of them - hopefully) to record, I use the number pad. I press 1 to go to my set locator, press * to begin recording and then hit space bar to stop recording. When I don’t like a take I hit the delete key to get rid of it and hit 1 again to start the process again. My question is this. Is there a button on one of these CMCs to delete the last recorded take (like the key that copies a track but just for deleting what I’ve just recorded)?
I’m only just delving into C 7.5’s new features like Re-Record (which is worth the update alone) so will likely figure out a new way of working and wean myself off the keyboard and mouse as much as possible. Its hard to not touch the keyboard shortcuts!
This is a good system Steve, and is used on traditional consoles, however working in the box, once the number of tracks begins to exceed 16 (or however many faders you have in total), this method can quickly become cumbersome and more of a nuisance than a help. The most useful technique in using a scribble strip is to have multiple rows corresponding to your banks, i.e. the first row has the names of the first 16 tracks, the second then next 16 an so on. This requires good planning ahead, and also means you should only use bank switching of the faders, and also avoid using track hiding or other similar manipulation. Give it good thought and seriously consider the working constraints it will place on your workflow.
Aside from this being a feature of 7.5 which you mention and I’m sure once incorporated into your personal workflow will negate the need for such a command, most of the CMCs can have some of their buttons programmed with additional user commands (can also be macros!).
So I haven’t tried it yet but I assume the record button on the CH will perform the re-record function of 7.5 so the answer would be yes in this case. Otherwise you can program the desired function onto an ‘F’ button of your choice.
BTW, I have a cubase custom keyboard (with the function keys named and colour coded, I find myself using both KCs as well as the CMCs for many things nearly equally - it depends what I’m doing at that specific moment.
I’ve actually had a look at those Custom Keyboards but I recently bought a wireless Apple keyboard (doesn’t have a number pad) for my living room and as soon as I typed on it, I knew I needed one in my studio. They feel great, so not having a number pad, the CMC-TP sorts that problem out!
Sorry I’ve gone a little off topic here but, do you use the CMC-QC and if so does it work well using 3rd party plugins like Waves for example. I just bought a Novation Nocturn Controller and I’ve had real trouble with automap crashing C 7.5 so un-installed it. It would be a joy if CMC-QC remedies this problem!
Someone on Gearslutz claimed that Akai has already trademarked MAX61 (*), so it’s possible that it will be announced at NAMM in just a few days. Which makes sense, because it took Akai a couple of years to release the MPK61 after the MPK49.
(*) And this is the source of that claim:
do you use the CMC-QC and if so does it work well using 3rd party plugins like Waves for example
I don’t use Waves, so I cannot comment on those plugs, but I do use the QC with many VST’s and I’ve never found any problem. I used to have a Novation Nocturn, but it was a pain in the butt to wrap all the VST’s and then program each and every one (not to mention that Automap is 32-bit…) The QC has replaced that. Now I don’t bother programming anything, I just use the “learn” button and then I can control anything I want.